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Erasing David review - special screening at FACT

by Janie Phillips. Published Tue 04 May 2010 16:24

Lasting approximately 411 hours or 18 days in his experiment to escape the ever-searching eyes of the big companies and the State, not forgetting two Private Investigators thrown in for good measure, David Bond finds out just how difficult it is to disappear.

When Bond set off on his adventure leaving his pregnant wife and baby daughter behind, his expectations of what he may find weren’t quite so prolific.

Bond seemed stunned to find that investigators had an entire wall dedicated to his life with information simply pulled from his bin, including DVLA letters and discarded travel tickets.

By allowing himself to be under surveillance, it has shown just how easy it can be for somebody to enter our lives, and in some cases, take our identity’s completely, and it’s not as hard as one might think.

All of us leave a paper trail, and it all ends up in the bin, not a problem for the fraudsters and, as shown in this film, any good private investigator.

It comes back to the question of how much information do we allow ourselves to give up to the big companies and organisations?

Erasing David is a definite reminder of the state of the country we live in today. There are six million CCTV cameras out there, but they are not really used for anything other than keeping an eye on the roads or trying to recognise those yobs that are smashing your car in.

To trust or not to trust, seems to be the question here. From social networking to buying our food online, how protected are we by Big Brother? Erasing David will make you sit up and think about the safety of ones identity, but it doesn’t really tell you anything you haven’t been warned about before.

There were times during the film that Bond appeared to have gone completely round the bend, with one shot of him in the middle of Wales on top of a mountain shouting to nobody ‘You can’t get me!’

Well they can and they did.

Paranoia at thinking that somebody was tapping into his mobile phone, and complete fear because he thought that somebody was lurking in the bushes outside his makeshift hut in Wales.

The insanity of the paranoia and fear only lead to an audience to pity Bond and hope he gets found and put out of his misery, which kind of defeats the object of the film.

Bond provides an adequate amount of hide and seek in the 80 minute documentary but it was the stories of data corruption and conspiracy theories that really held the rooms attention and sparked debate after.

Erasing David highlights how easily we give our information away and equally, how easy it is for anybody to access our personal information. This is not a work of cinematic genius but it is an important wake up call to those that may not be concerned with how much personal information is so readily accessible and how it can be used.

Screening on More4 tonight on True Stories at 10pm, with a live online debate afterward with David and the Private Investigators who tracked him down.

Reviewed from a special screening at FACT


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